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Two of the other three pieces may be more familiar -- Petroushskates, a lovely homage to Stravinsky by Joan Tower with, in this version, an added percussion part by Allen Otte, and Michael Torke's July for saxophone quartet played (as is the Goldstein piece) superbly by the Aurelia Quartet.

Lu Pei's Song of Consonance, a substantial 17' piece, is his reaction to the 9/11 tragedy in New York and is a musical account of his dreams of peace. It is a work of both energy and tenderness, and brings together East and West in its fascinating instrumentation, the p'i-p'a and erh-hu (plucked and bowed strings respectively) from China and our familiar piano trio. It is a sound world of vigour [listen -- track 15, 0:00-1:42] with curious echoes of Messiaen in an extraordinary context [listen -- track 16, 0:00-1:16] and peacefulness in which the players are required to sing too, joining an ancient Chinese melody [listen -- track 16, 1:57-3:42]. A captivating piece on a equally enthralling CD, the only downside being its complete lack of tracking information -- Lu Pei is divided into ten unnamed tracks, but finding that out is guesswork!

Copyright © 16 September 2006 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK



7 83707 24960 5 DDD Stereo COMPILATION 53'40" 2005 New Dynamic Records

Aurelia Saxophone Quartet (Goldstein and Torke); eighth blackbird (Tower); Audrey Andrist, piano (Gibson); Nathan Williams, clarinet (Gibson); Yang Wei, pipa (Lu Pei); Betti Xiang, ehru (Lu Pei); Amelia Piano Trio (Lu Pei)

Perry Goldstein (born 1952): Child Variations (2002) (first recording); Joan Tower (born 1938) arr Allen Otte: Petroushskates (1980); Robert Gibson: Three Etudes (2000) (first recording); Michael Torke (born 1961): July (1995); Lu Pei (born 1956): Xiang He Ge / Song of Consonance (2001)


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